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  • Raeanne Newquist

Senegal In Paris

We just wrapped up a fabulous week in Paris walking, eating, walking, sight seeing, walking and a bit more walking! Our weather was absolutely perfect and as we said goodbye to the City of Light, she started turning up the heat to a toasty 100+! Praise God we escaped just in time.

One of our daughters really wanted to see the Eiffle Tower during the day (because seeing it sparkle at night was a given!) so we headed over to the Trocadero for a full view of the iconic landmark. As we approached the viewing area, the crowds grew and African men sold their souvenirs to the tourists. I gathered the kiddos to take a picture of them when one of the salesmen approached us. He didn't ask us to buy anything, but instead reached out to grab my camera. As he did, Roger noticed his red, yellow and green wrist band.

"Senegal?" Roger asked.

"Yes!! I'm from Senegal!" he replied.

We told him we're moving there and he couldn't believe it. We talked about Mercy Ships and the life we were headed towards while he ensured us we'd love his country! He said he goes home all the time and would see us there. He then grabbed my camera and began to pose everyone for photos.

When he finished, I tried to pay him but he refused. I told him I wanted to say thank you for the photos, but he wouldn't hear of it. He then gave us a handful of Eiffle Tower keychains and wished us well in his home country of Senegal. As we parted ways, I began to cry. It just seemed so crazy to me that out of all the African nations, out of all the Africans selling souvenirs in Paris, the man from Senegal came right to us. He was so joyful and sincere, he genuinely wanted take photos for us (which he's obviously done before!) and it just felt like one more blessing from God, paving the way to our new home. If all Senegalese are like Aloune, then I can't wait to go!!

This jump photo was done in one shot! ONE SHOT! Not a burst, not 2 or 3 tries... one shot! Aloune is my hero!

**If you're new to this blog and don't really know me, then you can't really appreciate how extravagant this meeting was for me! There have been a few moments in the past week when darkness has tried to bring us down. Nightmares, negativity, anxiety... The old terror rearing his ugly head once more to tempt me back to his chains. But God has been faithful to surround me with mighty prayer warriors who have covered our family in prayer and reminded us that there will be many battles ahead, but God will be victorious in them all!

Meeting Aloune from Senegal felt like God's lavish love for us. A sweet encounter with a man that felt safe, familiar and peaceful. The extravagant part came with the photos he took!! I mean COME ON! These are amazing! I love photography and always long for great photos. Aloune blessed us with them! God's gift to me.

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Mike Gaffney
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God loves to do this, he has been doing this for us all year. It wont stop. I pray it won't stop. Need those little "kisses" from heaven to remind us that he has our back.

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